If you compare how the St. Louis Blues looked to start 2016-17 versus how they’ll begin 2017-18, you’ll see some significant changes.
Many of those alterations actually happened during the span of last season, however. In moves that felt like they were years in the making, the team fired head coach Ken Hitchcock and parted ways with then-pending free agent Kevin Shattenkirk.
It was the continuation of a passing of the torch that began with veterans David Backes, Brian Elliott, and Troy Brouwer moving on to make way for the likes of Jake Allen and Vladimir Tarasenko.
Fittingly, the biggest move of the off-season was finding a compromise with rising defenseman Colton Parayko, and one of the bigger talking points is that Mike Yeo can truly put his stamp on this team with a full training camp.
While there’s plenty of good with this team, it’s up to Yeo and others to give people reason to believe that this franchise still has aspirations to contend. Even after beating the Minnesota Wild in the first round under Yeo and finally making a conference final in Hitchcock’s final full year, the Blues have some convincing to do.
PHT sets out to discuss the many variables that could make or break this coming season for the Blues today.